the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

AMSR-E Dead…..

Posted by Jeff Id on October 5, 2011

The AMSR-E satellite just lost its ability to spin stabilize.   I’m not an expert on its funcitons but it had a high RPM rate previously which suggests a need for axial alignment.   This means that solar panels need to rotate in the opposite direction with similar speed and torque compensators must operate to prevent friction from changing the total spin rate.  So the thing had to stop spinning.   What the subsystems are comprised of is also beyond my knowledge but it doesn’t matter.   What does matter is that a number of VERY critical global doom timeseries are likely to have unfortunate steps introduced into them.   Some scientists will lose months or years of work in re-aligning the next satellite with the previous accurately and there will always be questions.   The first huge opportunity for atmospheric temperature consistency has been lost because we weren’t wealthy enough (or smart enough) to have the second instrument in space before the first failed.  This first one was apparently scheduled to fail 3 years ago.  Sounds like typical government to me.

If you are going to chuck trillions down the left side of the toilet, you would think measuring the parameters of doom might take a few hundred million dollar preference.   Think of the few hundred millon as a penny from a hundred dollars.

Nope, don’t know why we wouldn’t spend that bit. No, this is not a critique of the scientists, it is a critique of the government so willing to both steal and spend the trillions.

Really though, time series trends which are so sensitive to steps is very bad news.   Yes there are other data sources, but this particular satellite was a huge forward step in capability.  Hopefully, its value won’t be lost by this.  Some functions remain, although I expect that their quality will be compromised.

Roy Spencer’s blog is the place to address questions.  Corrections or additions to my limited knowledge on this are appreciated.  For instance: What is the scope of the data actually lost?

13 Responses to “AMSR-E Dead…..”

  1. Ecotretas said

    Don’t forget this was a very inconvenient satelite…

  2. Ruhroh said

    Lubos had a beaut over at WUWT, regarding the ‘no Jiffy Lubes in space’ headline.
    Not sure how to link to it…

    October 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    I didn’t know what Jiffy Lubes were, so the word looked like a distorted version of “Jeff Id Luboš”, some combination of two climate skeptics. ;-)

  3. Ruhroh said

    Jeff;
    I think the keyword is ‘Scanning’. In this construct, the spinning mass is not for stabilization, and there is not a need for counter-rotating solar panels, etc.

    If AMSR-e had been offering up data which was more supportive of Trenberth, et al., more likely to see guaranteed overlap.
    RR

  4. Gary said

    What’s the problem? Just model future data… here on the ground… with a new computer…

  5. kim said

    FOI for the increasing torque, if you’ve a mind.
    =========

  6. j ferguson said

    Ruroh,
    a JiffyLube is a business in the US which does oil changes on automobiles. /they can usually handle 6 or 8 automobiles at the same time. As an aside, it would be interesting to know whether anything on a modern automobile must be greased on a schedule. Maybe someone reading this will remember the 1,500 mile cycle on the front torsion bar bushing on the old VWs.

  7. lucia said

    This is unfortunate. Of course we have all sorts of discontinuities in historic data, but it’s a shame the satellites didn’t overlap now when the arguments over warming in its consequences (i.e. ice melt) are so heated.

    RuhRoh

    … was more supportive of Trenberth, et al.,

    I really don’t think this is on Trenberth or the et al.

  8. Ruhroh said

    Hey, always happy for another remedial educational opportunity.
    I had the (apparently misteakin) idea that AMSR-E was among the sources of observational data sets that led to Travesty Trenberth’s famous lament regarding the ‘missing’ heat, and his expressed choice of omitting the most recent data because it didn’t support his premise.
    So, if I am lucky, you will disabuse me of my foolish notions in this regard.
    TIA
    RR

    I understand the difference between heat and temperature.

  9. kim said

    I think the null is that the Trenberth Effect is in everything.
    ===========

  10. Mark T said

    As an aside, it would be interesting to know whether anything on a modern automobile must be greased on a schedule.

    To my knowledge, all modern vehicles have sealed bushings and no longer require greasing. Take that with a grain of salt, however. I drive a fairly new (2007) Xterra with an off-road package, a vehicle obviously designed with rough treatment in mind, which would otherwise require frequent attention to bearings and bushings, but it does not require greasing.

    Mark

  11. Matthew W said

    “If you are going to chuck trillions down the left side of the toilet, you would think measuring the parameters of doom might take a few hundred million dollar preference. Think of the few hundred millon as a penny from a hundred dollars.”

    Yeah, putting satellites in orbit would be the correct function of NASA instead of the crap they are doing !!

  12. j ferguson said

    Mark T. I thought so. Nuts. I always liked Zerk fittings. Nostalgia makes me but them in the bigger things i build.

  13. Bill Illis said

    Climate science is replete with significant, make-or-break uncertainties.

    We spend billions of dollars per year supporting a cadre of pro-AGW scientists studying global warming’s impact on gophers etc., for example, but there isn’t enough funds to do the data measurements/consolidation which would allow us to reduce the large uncertainties.

    It is backwards. Reduce the uncertainties first and then they can write all kinds of papers on the disasters that will befell mankind / gopherkind when temperatures increase X.XC and rainfall increases X.XX% (plus or minus natural variability of X.XC).

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